Out To The Meadow 2020
32% Chenin blanc, 25% Vermentino, 21% Trousseau gris, 12% Green Hungarian, 10% Chasselas Doré
Co-fermented field blend. Foot tread for a quick bit of skin contact before going into the press, then fermented and aged, unracked on lees, in neutral barrels for 6 months. Unfined. Unfiltered. Sediment expected.
King Vineyard, Suisun Valley; historic field blend; grown with compost teas and without pesticides and herbicides, clay soils.
Gentle aromas of green plantain and waxy mango skin envelop this wine’s supple body. A core of bright acidity and a creamed honey finish weave together the expansive textures and flavors of this historic field blend.
What California white wine may have tasted like before Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc came on the scene. Taste (almost) lost history. Out to the Meadow is a co-fermented field blend of five white grapes that were around in early California grape growing history.
I feel very lucky to work with this one-of-a-kind parcel in Suisun Valley. Matthew Rorick of Forlorn Hope Wines researched what a historic Californian white field blend would have been comprised of, then took cuttings from some of the few remaining vineyards still growing these grapes before the vines were pulled out of the ground, and convinced grower Roger King to create this “library block” from them. Matthew passed the torch to me and I now work with this small block exclusively. I named the wine after the landowner and farmer, Roger King, who came down from the mountain after a youth of skiing, and went ‘out to the meadow’ to grow wine grapes. Roger has been enthusiastically farming it for 30 years. After naming the wine I found a Tom Waits interview where he uses the expression "We went out to the meadow" to describe a synergistic collaboration among musicians. This makes sense. I think the grape varieties all have a synergy when co-fermented, and Roger has also been the most collaborative grower I have ever worked with.
All varieties in this blend are picked on the same day, foot tread before going into the same press load, and juice is immediately put to barrel to begin fermentation. Lees, the yeast byproduct of fermentation, are an important component of making this wine. I liken lees to the bones in a broth, providing flavor and unique texture. This wine is fermented and aged in the same (neutral) barrels, staying on lees the entire time.
Production: 118 cases
(February 2021): Free SO2 15 mg/L, total SO2 40 mg/L; 0.3 g/L RS (dry). All wines are vegan.
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